FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind

Millions of Americans believe that war doesn’t work, that war cannot end terrorism because war is terrorism, and that U.S. war-making is breeding a new generation of terrorists around the world. Millions also want the senseless killing to stop and they realize we must begin with ending our own military’s killing sprees. Americans want a new nonviolent response to the violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. We don’t want to keep on inspiring millions of oppressed people to join ISIS or Al Qaeda. We want to stop the killing, make reparations, and start healing our world.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are the outcomes of far too many years of U.S. warfare in the Middle East. The American government has killed hundreds of thousands, militarized much of the Middle East, funded the Palestinian occupation, and used drones to kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.

What is needed instead of continued military violence is a new global nonviolent response. The United States should immediately halt all its bombing raids and drone attacks and pursue ceasefires everywhere. We should start a massive reparations program to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and every land we have bombed, on a scale greater than the Marshall Plan. We should cut off all funding to ISIS from all quarters, and fund nonviolent peacemakers throughout the Middle East. Creative nonviolence should become our new foreign policy and the policy of every nation.

Of course, America is going to have to spend billions of dollars on nonviolent options. This money is available for war and should instead be made available for peace. To start paying for nonviolent solutions, we can close all our nuclear weapons plants, disarm our nuclear arsenal, and allocate those many billions of dollars to the many problems we face in the world. We have spent some seven trillion dollars on nuclear weapons since Hiroshima. It’s time we instead spent serious money on nonviolent conflict resolution instead.

We have definitive proof that active nonviolence works. Unlike war and violence, strategic nonviolence brings lasting, peaceful results. Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan’s groundbreaking book, Why Civil Resistance Works, proves through empirical data and strong scientific analysis that violence in response to violence only increases violence and that nonviolent conflict resolution can bring a more peaceful and just solutions.
“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind,” Gandhi famously said. This sad truth is being played out every day now. We need to have the courage to stop the cycle of violence and use the methods of creative strategic nonviolence to end this madness and pursue a more nonviolent world. This is achievable, but it requires that everyone get involved in building a global grassroots movement of nonviolence. We need to stop the warmakers on all sides who are intent on furthering the cycle of violence and war.

“To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.”

“When evil men plot, good men [and women] must plan,” King continued. “When evil men burn and bomb, good men [and women] must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men [and women] must commit themselves to the glories of love. When evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men [and women] must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.”

I hope everyone will stop listening to the voices advocating violence and instead listen to the voices of nonviolence. Please join the grassroots movements of active nonviolence in pursuit of peace because the people of the world deserve so much more than violence and war has ever given us.

More articles by:

John Dear, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an American Catholic priest nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also a Christian pacifist, an author, and lecturer.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
February 25, 2020
Michael Hudson
The Democrats’ Quandary: In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give
Paul Street
The “Liberal” Media’s Propaganda War on Bernie Sanders
Sheldon Richman
The Non-Intervention Principle
Nicholas Levis
The Real Meaning of Red Scare 3.0
John Feffer
Cleaning Up Trump’s Global Mess
David Swanson
How Are We Going to Pay for Saving Trillions of Dollars?
Ralph Nader
Three Major News Stories That Need To Be Exposed
John Eskow
What Will You Do If the Democrats Steal It from Sanders?
Dean Baker
What If Buttigieg Said That He Doesn’t Accept the “Fashionable” View That Climate Change is a Problem?
Jack Rasmus
The Nevada Caucus and the Desperation of Democrat Elites
Howard Lisnoff
The Powerful Are Going After Jane Fonda Again
Binoy Kampmark
Viral Losses: Australian Universities, Coronavirus and Greed
John W. Whitehead
Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn Schools into Prisons
Marshall Sahlins
David Brooks, Public Intellectual
February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring: Politics of the People
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail